Observations with the Swift UV Optical Telescope have unambiguously uncovered for the first time a long-lived, UV "plateau" in a Type II-P supernova (SN). Although this flattening in slope is hinted at in a few other SNe, due to its proximity and minimal line-of-sight extinction, SN 2012aw has afforded the first opportunity to clearly observe this UV plateau. The observations of SN 2012aw revealed all Swift UV and u-band light curves initially declined rapidly, but 27 days after the explosion the light curves flattened. Some possible sources of the UV plateau are the same thermal process that causes the optical plateau, heating from radioactive decay, or a combination of both processes.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- February 2013
- supernovae: general;
- supernovae: individual: SN 2012aw;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- In press at ApJL. 5 pages. 4 color figures